The Hole In The Wall

Tucked-away Chiswick gastropub cheers up Anne Flaherty


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The Hole In The Wall is one of those secret Chiswick pleasures which people are reluctant to share in case it becomes spoiled by outsiders. Tucked away (behind the A4 Porsche garage), at Sutton Lane North you could easily drive by.

But if you did go elsewhere you'd be missing a treat. The little pub on the corner has a big heart, and plenty of good food and drink to boot.

It was a freezing night when we visited, and I was glad when the staff directed us towards a table for two beside the fire. The interior is traditional gastropub decor of wooden tables and floors but the gleam of the wall lights and the flickering fire gave it a welcoming atmosphere- a group of locals were playing Monopoly on a large wooden table in an adjoining room - and it felt as if we had strayed into someone's living room. In fact the pub extends back quite a bit and there are rooms off rooms (and an outside garden).

The starters included a Parsnip and Apple soup, Mackeral Pate, Salt and Pepper Squid with chilli and lime dipping sauce or Sauteed Mushrooms with tarragon and cream on toast. My husband chose the Chorizo in Spicy Tomato Stew with grilled bread. It was almost a meal in itself, the chorizo was not overly spicy but the dish had its slight kick from the tomato sauce. I had the soup - it was a winter's evening after all and the flavour was perfectly pitched, avoiding the traditional pitfall of parsnip soup being too sweet- the tiny hint of chilli provided some heat.

Main courses range from £12.50 to £13.50 in price and the menu included s Shepherd's pie, Beef Burger, Coq au Vin, Fishcake, Steak frites and chips. and for the vegetarians there was a pasta (Tagliatelle with butternut and sage), a Veggie Burger or Indian vegetable curry. There were also specials- a duck breast with garlic potatoes sounded tempting but I opted for the Crispy Pork Belly with roasted root vegetables and caramalised apples. This came with very nice mashed potatoes and I teamed it with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

The verdict- the pork was generous and very nice not a dish I would eat too often as it's quite rich , but the crunchy root vegetables and spinach complemented the softness of the meat and the caramelised apple added the right note of sweetness. My husband chose the Italian sausage- quite a lot of pork for an evening and this dish cosisted of three large bangers resting on a bed of Lyonnaise potatoes and sauteed onion and peppers. The sausages were robust and had great flavour.

One request I would make to the chef would be to include more fish on the menu. On the night we visited there were fishcakes and there was salmon with new potatoes and petit pois. One other choice of fish would really round out the menu.

After such hearty winter fare, it was almost too much to think about dessert but I was pursuaded to try the Poached Pear - on the grounds that it's part of my five-a-day. I tucked in. Delicately spiced with the right amout of crunch it came perched on a pool of melted chocolate with swirls of mango puree as decoration on the plate.

In keeping with the hearty winter fare the dessert menu included Treacle Tart, Tart Tatin , icecream and sorbets and a selection of Cheese with quince paste.

Wines ( starting at £3.95 a glass) ranged from South Africa Chenin blanc (£18.95) to Italian Pinot Grigio (£18.95) to the most expensive, a bottle of Chablis at £33. Reds were Chilean Merlot (£18.95) and the ever popular choises of Rioja, Merlot and Pinot Noir, to the more expensive Cote de Rhone and St Emilon priced at £29 and £30 respectively. There are also Rose and sparkling wines available.

A three course meal with a bottle of wine and service charge will come to around £75 which is quite average for Chiswick.

The Hole In the Wall is a warm, welcoming gastropub - owers Jason and Lucie are celebrating their tenth anniversary there and it's obvious that the pub has a loyal customer base as by the time we left, it was very busy. Definitely one of w4's best little secrets and worth making a diversion from the High Road.

The Hole In the Wall, 12, Sutton Lane North, W42LD

telephone 0208 7427185





February 12, 2014

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